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Kelly’s PREEMIE Act passes US House

The “Prematurity Research Expansion and Education for Mothers who deliver Infants Early Reauthorization Act of 2023,” or the PREEMIE Act, passed the U.S. House of Representatives.

H.R. 3226 is designed to improve pregnancy outcomes and infant health by continuing research and education programs aimed at preventing preterm births. The legislation was introduced by U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, who represents Illinois’ 2nd District, including Homewood and Flossmoor, along with representatives Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa, Anna Eshoo of California and Michael Burgess of Texas.

“Babies born premature face significant and unique barriers to live full, healthy lives. I am proud to have helped lead the PREEMIE Act to ensure that premature babies have the resources they need to thrive,” Kelly said. “This bipartisan legislation will equip our medical providers and our communities with the best practices and resources to help produce better outcomes for premature babies and their mothers.” 

  • The PREEMIE Act reauthorizes federal research, education and intervention activities to reduce preterm birth and infant mortality. It was first signed into law in 2006 to help reduce infant mortality. The law was reauthorized in 2013 and 2018.  
  • The legislation reauthorizes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s research and data collection on infants born premature and programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration aimed at improving the treatment and outcome of infants born premature. This includes grants to help doctors and the public understand the potential risk factors for having a preterm baby, such as smoking, and grants to screen and treat pregnant people for depression, and substance use disorders, including opioid use disorders. The legislation also authorizes a study to better understand the factors that lead to preterm birth and identify effective prevention and treatment options. These programs expired Sept. 30 but funding was extended into next year.  
  • In June, a bipartisan and bicameral group of lawmakers noted the growing support for the PREEMIE Act from 84 maternal and infant health organizations. In their letters to Senate and House lawmakers, the organizations express the importance of the legislation to improve pregnancy outcomes and infant health by continuing research and education programs aimed at preventing preterm births.  

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